Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mysteries Revealed

So... I can't post to my blog that I'm going on vacation for a week, I just have to tell you after the fact, sorry about that!  And then of course there is the packing and the unpacking and the laundry (that's still piled up in my bedroom), all of which keeps me away from blogging.  Now that I'm home, I'm not feeling very inspired either.  We're eating McDonald's way too often and barely keeping the dishes done.    I have another reason for that though.

my three gorgeous girls with their Grandma

Hopefully I'll be back to blogging more regularly soon.  If the nausea subsides, that is.  ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Yesterday a crazy storm blew through our area and left behind a ton of tree damage.  I was driving home when the storm hit: the sky turned black and bright and green all at once.  My windshield wipers could hardly keep up with the downpour.  I pulled into the driveway and sat in my car for a few seconds wondering if I should wait for a break in the storm or run inside.  I looked up and saw a huge gust of wind come over our house carrying leaves and debris sideways.  At that point, I realized it might be a tornado, and thought I should try to get inside.  My next thought was wondering if that was even possible or if the wind would blow me down the street.  I decided to run.  Just as I was running up to the door, I heard a loud bang and the neighbors tree crashed across the street where I had been driving literally just two minutes before.  I was completely drenched but safe.

A kind of hilarious moment - when I was running up to the door, I lost one of my flip flops.  I had a split second debate about whether or not to go back for it.  I thought "people don't go back for flip flops in tornados" and then "but I'll never see my flip flop again if I don't go back and get it".  I went the two steps back to get the flip flop.  Seriously?  Who does that?  lol

After the storm we went out to run an errand and saw the extent of the damage.  4-5 streets just in our neighborhood alone were completely blocked off like this with enormous trees down.  Nearly every house had huge tree limbs strewn around.  After the clean up efforts yesterday, the entire street is completely lined with brush pulled from everyone's yards.

I'm so thankful that our family is safe and sound.  No one that I know of was hurt.  It was neat to see all of our neighbors outside working together to cut up branches and rake leaves up.  The city did come through with tractors and is working hard to clean things up as well.

After I dried off with a towel and changed my drenched clothes, I hugged my kids tight.

linked to Gratituesday

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pretty Girls

The girls asked me to paint their nails yesterday and were so cute I had to take a picture.  Lucy wanted purple for her fingers and pink toes.

Julia had to have one of each color.  (This is so Julia's personality.)

on her toes too: 

 of course its super safe Piggy Paint.  (If you're local, EcoBuns has some.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Homeschool Planning

I said I was going to homeschool through the summer.  Nope.  I need a break.  Although we enjoyed Little Hearts For His Glory, at this point it is too easy for Lucy.  We're shelving it and going with the next level in the fall.  Lucy is still reading through the Emerging Readers set; I certainly can't stop her.  She asked for books for her birthday and loves to read.  :)  We may still read through the Burgess books this summer as the girls LOVE those.  We'll see.  I like the freedom of being able to stop and just breathe and enjoy summer.

I always enjoy planning our homeschool curriculum for the coming year.  I haven't had to do much searching this time because we are looking forward to using Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory.  I placed my order tonight from Heart of Dakota and have several of the read alouds on hold at the library so I can read them myself ahead of time.  The girls are pretty sensitive, so I want to be sure I am choosing story time books they will enjoy.  I'm excited that some of my favorites as a child are scheduled this year - In Grandma's Attic, Mr Popper's Penguins, and more.

Lucy will be using Explode the Code books, and Artistic Pursuits (she really likes this art program, we did a portion of it last year).  Other than that, we are using everything as recommended by Heart of Dakota (Singapore Math, etc).  I have a Playmobil covered wagon set with a family that was mine when I was little.  I am planning to give it to the girls sometime during the year; I think they will enjoy acting out some of the stories we will be reading.

Julia is turning four at the beginning of August and loves joining in with Lucy when she can.  I'm sure she will listen during story time and participate in any crafts.  She has such a different personality and learning style than Lucy, that I am definitely not teaching her the same way Lucy learned at that age.  We are planning to use Learn Your Letters Learn to Serve (Click here to view more details) and The Reading Lesson at a slow pace as she shows interest.  I'm excited about Learn Your Letters Learn to Serve because Julia has a very caring heart toward others and I can see this really nurturing that in her.  The activities look like things our whole family will enjoy, although it will take a bit of planning in order to fit it in.

I am debating getting a preschool table and chair set, kind of like this, or small desks, or just continuing to use our kitchen table.  The table is fairly small, and I like the idea of having a kid sized workspace, but that means Esther would get into whatever the older girls are doing.  We would also have to really rearrange things to even be able to fit that table in our house.  What do you think?  

Are you planning ahead for the fall yet?  Any fun ideas to share?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes

Sorry, my food pictures are pretty lacking, but this is an amazing potato salad recipe worth sharing!

4 cups red potatoes, diced and cooked, with skin on
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs minced onion (can use chives or green onions)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dill weed or 1 1/2 tsp fresh dill, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic or 2-3 garlic scapes)
4 Tbs Miracle Whip (or ranch dressing) 
After cooking the potatoes (about 12 minutes) and draining them, let them cool a bit.  Blend all the remaining ingredients except Miracle Whip and gently fold that mixture into the potatoes.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, gently blending in the Miracle Whip once the whole mixture has been cooled for a while.  

In case you're wondering, these are garlic scapes, the tops of the garlic as it is growing.  Crunchy with a light garlic flavor, so tasty.

We look forward to this potato salad every year once garlic scapes are in season.  Yum!